Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Value of Sharing Online

I have been sharing my family tree gedcom online at for quite some years now. While some people do not like to share this way for fear others will steal their research, I am mostly a fan of the idea. I have seen my tree and its sources copied, with and without credit, the later being somewhat frustrating. However, the connections I have made, the cousins found, the information shared have been worth the cost.

One of the treasures I received was a picture of my 3rd great-grandfather and my 2nd great-grandfather and mother. This I received from a 2nd half-cousin of mine, Jeff. He found my information on the rootweb site and contacted me. He had much more information than I on our mutual family as well as a wonderful photo.

In the middle seated position is my 3rd great-grandfather Joseph Hall who was born 19 Nov 1824 in Darmariscotta, Lincoln, Maine.  He married Submit Ross (not shown) on 12 Oct 1845 in Bradford, Penobscot, Maine.  The couple on his left (right side of the picture) are my 2nd great-grandparents, Henry P Hall and his wife Esther Patricia Gowen.  Henry was born 2 Feb 1850 in Orneville, Piscataquis, Maine and Esther was born 15 Jan 1848 in Bradford, Penobscot, Maine.

The picture was taken in 1889 in North Bradford, Maine.  I don't know which of Henry's brothers is also in the picture.  (Perhaps someone will see this and tell me who it is!!)  It is just a wonderful picture.  I can see the resemblance of my mother in her relations.  It makes them all seem more real, not just names in a list.   Now I want a similar picture of every branch of my tree!

So when you are considering whether or how much to share of your research, remember this picture.  If you  are like me, you probably used some names and dates out of other's research, at least to get started.  And what I always try to remember, no one of us owns a relative or any of our family.  All the descendants do and the more we share the more we will all have.  And it also means that it is less likely that any of these wonderful family members will ever be forgotten!

Peace and Happy New Year to All!


  1. It's a wonderful photo. I have been posting blogs and some photos but I have never submitted a GEDCOM to Rootsweb. I have posted inquiries, but never thought of doing thah.

  2. Hi Kathy, I liked your article especially since I am another RootsWeb contributor. As a matter of fact, I update mine every 1-2 weeks, and have a line showing the names I've worked on. Maybe our paths will cross there as well. What a great picture from Jeff. Thanks.

  3. I LOVE your picture and have had the same experiences by posting my tree on Rootsweb. I've found so many cousins who've shared precious family photos! We can't get anywhere if we hoard our work. I've been very blessed by sharing mine and I'm happy to see that you have too! I really enjoyed your article!